Ellen Page has made a star turn as a documentarian in recent years, co-hosting the Viceland queer travelogue show Gaycation with Ian Daniel and narrating environmental films like Vanishing of the Bees.
Inspired by the book of the same name by Ingrid Waldron, the film sees Page returning to her childhood home of Nova Scotia, Canada, where the quality of life is drastically determined by one’s zip code. As in much of North America, black and indigenous communities in Nova Scotia are often the most vulnerable to environmental hazards, such as proximity to toxic waste dumps and factories along with poor water supplies.
“When we got here, they decided they were gonna put a dump, where everything went,” a woman tells the camera in the trailer. “There were body parts, food, animal parts….anything and everything.” Later, Page is shown coughing next to a billowing smoke cloud, and an activist she’s with says, “That’s what our community smells like.”
In addition to interviews and on-location shoots of the devastating environmental effects on these communities, Page and Daniel also attend activist rallies, ceremonies and demonstrations aiming to push for new legislation that would protect marginalized groups in Nova Scotia from environmental racism.